Insight - 70 Years Since Stalin; His Role In Globalism
A look at the way the surveillance state has made dictators unnecessary
If dictators are figureheads to rally the people, are they passé in era of social media?
What does that mean for branding foreign leaders as “Hitlers”?
In the post-Führer era, where are the tyrants secreted and how do we confront them?
Dictators were playthings of economic interplay - what are the parallels today?
Historians do us poor service by ignoring the trade winds.
If globalists gave us the previous totalitarian experiments we should be en garde.
(3,400 words or 16 minutes of your company.)
Mar 5, 2023
There is a story, possibly apochryphal, possibly real, that the legendary Soviet T-34 tank, a mainstay in WW2, was copied from the British and Americans but got her thick armour as a result of the inability of the Soviets to produce thin-rolled steel.
Another account says that many of the first tanks had BMW engines which the Germans had produced in large numbers before relations with the Soviets soured.
The way the evidence leans is still debated but it remains a useful account of the degree to which Stalin’s industrialisation was inseparable from that of the West.
This Sunday is the 70th anniversary of Stalin’s death. Some people still mourn him as the kind of strong man who saves countries by disciplining the corrupt, the weak and the feckless.
Stalin is a broad and controversial topic. An article written over two days does not purport to be a contribution to a journal much less a chapter in a book. The aim is to raise ideas.
It is an opportunity to rattle the cage and let a few taboos loose: is the perceived advantage of a strong leader vs weak leader as real as it seems? How much freedom of action does any leader have? Are dictators created by financial interests, actively or passively by the fluctuation of global markets or the manipulation of crises?
Trotskyists of course disown Stalin as a betrayal of the revolution; many people nevertheless credit him with industrialising Russia. Yet the idea taught in schools, that Russia was a pre-industrial swamp at the time the Bolsheviks took power is simply wrong.
In its last 50 years under Tsarism Russia was the world’s biggest wheat exporter. In 1901 Russia briefly overtook the United States as the world’s biggest oil exporter. The Rockefellers, Rothschilds and Nobels were making millions in Russia.
It was industrialising at a faster pace than almost any other country. Russia’s first electrical power station was built outside Moscow in 1912-1914, albeit 30 years after the UK and U.S.. Today many Russians do not know that its main railway stations and bridges predate the revolution, as does its tramway.
The role of the Bolsheviks was rather to interrupt the industrialisation of Russia, while switching its model from domestic entrepreneurship to a client state subject to international oligarchs who engaged in technology transfer in return for raw materials. That model held throughout the Soviet Union (SU) and even in modern-day Russia, where Germany, for example, until last year supplied manufactured goods in return for Russian energy and minerals.
Economists like Karl Polyani (Great Transformation, 1944) argued that Stalin was the product of external forces. Russia underwent a second revolution in the 1930s driven by the collapse of the gold standard and the Great Depression which depressed prices around the world, including for Russia which at that moment was in a cultural, social and economic crisis in which the countryside could not feed the growing cities, and resented the priority given to factory workers. 
This strained the domestic grain market, which had been liberalised after the end of War Communism and led the authorities to repress the peasantry through the mechanism of collectivisation. See The War Against the Peasantry, 1927-1930: The Tragedy of the Soviet Countryside (Yale, 2007). The economist Nikolai Bukharin warned this was a self-defeating economic strategy and, for his pains, was arrested in the Great Purge, which began in 1936, and executed in 1938.
Later economists have pointed out the SU was following global trends. Yes, the collapse of commodity prices reduced the linkage between countries, pushing the SU to a policy of socialism in one country but the trend to the mechanisation of agriculture was international. The same Great Depression that turned the SU inward sent American entrepreneurs beating a path to the Kremlin gates.
The main impact of mechanisation was not cheaper food but the need for a much smaller workforce and the concomitant growth of the cities. When the Bolsheviks took power, about 95 per cent of the population lived in the countryside. They would reduce the rural population while feeding the cities. Stalin accomplished that partly through famine. Within three years of taking power, in 1921, the country was in famine, lasting until 1923. Ten years after that, Ukraine, the Volga region and Kazakhstan were again starving.
Stalin’s five year plans were drawn up by the American industrial architect Albert Kahn. Henry Ford shipped entire car plants to Nizhny Novgorod (then known as Gorky) and Moscow and BMW supplied engines. The Dnieper Hydroelectric Station also known as Dnipro Dam, was American made. General Electric built the generators, Newport Shipping and Drydock Company built the turbines, Germans and Swedes supplied the rest, and Americans oversaw construction. Until recently, General Electric's Russian web site stated “Proud to have electrified the Soviet Union.”
See the role of the Koch family in the previous article, Eurasia note #72 - Tourist Batumi's Lessons For Today: Eurasia note #72 - Tourist Batumi's Lessons For Today
Frederick Taylor, the father of scientific management, though he died in 1915, bequeathed the centralization, control, and systems essential to industrialization. The veneration of Ford was mimicked in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and its prayer to “Our Ford.” A trades union leader and poet, Alexei Gastev, saw workers as an extension of their machines: “I grow iron arms and shoulders — I blend with the iron form.”
Stalin in 1924 said: “The combination of the Russian revolutionary sweep with American efficiency is the essence of Leninism.” 
He could pay for American technology in gold. As the need for imports increased, so did the round-ups that filled the labour camps — so much so that Genrikh Yagoda, head of the NKVD secret police, began issuing quotas for the number of nightly arrests.
Yet the lack of market pricing to link supply to demand led to rationing and quotas, and in turn to cutting corners and quality. Imported machinery was not well maintained due to lack of skills and spare parts. Successive waves of importation would revive output only temporarily.
In 1962, after more than 30 years of collectivisation, the factory workers in Novocherkassk were massacred when they protested against shortages of meat and dairy and rising prices. As late as 1988 chairman Mikhail Gorbachev asked Ford to once again make cars in the SU. For all its trumpeted sexual revolution, Soviet women had to make do without tampons, unless they could afford imported ones.
Antony Sutton wrote in Wall Street And The Bolshevik Revolution (1974):
“There has been a continuing, albeit concealed, alliance between international political capitalists and international revolutionary socialists to their mutual benefit. This alliance has gone unobserved largely because historians — with a few notable exceptions — have an unconscious Marxian bias and are thus locked into the impossibility of any such alliance existing.” 
Although the transport system consisted mostly of a hub-and-spoke format to serve the two main cities, the communist authorities did little if anything to correct this problem. Travel between secondary cities often required a change in Moscow or St Petersburg and back out again. The twin metropoleis were the only air route into the country. The majority of Russia’s ports to this day are not connected to the public transport network. Transportation served the military and state security rather than logistics, which remained a problem long after the collapse of the SU.
In short, Stalin did preside over the SU’s industrialisation, but as part of a globalist enterprise. What the revolution did was to eliminate Russia as a competitor in the oil industry in particular, while turning it into a client state for the billionaire industrialists of the United States.
If any of the bankers who financed the Bolsheviks knew that the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression was coming, this removal of excess capacity would have been convenient. In the U.S. of the 1930s, president Franklin Roosevelt and his advisers believed overproduction had caused falling food prices, thus depressing farmers’ incomes. Officials responded by taking food off the market, to boost prices, while offering food stamps and welfare to compensate the quarter of the population that was unemployed.
FDR borrowed an economic system not wholly different to the experiments in the SU. The National Recovery Administration lifted heavily from Mussolini.
Today a perceived crisis of overproduction once again sees policies that coincidentally — if not deliberately — cripple industry with high energy costs and deprive the people of cheap and plentiful food. Karl Marx himself said that the capitalist’s greatest fear and the cause of capitalist crises was overproduction.
The 15 minute cities look ominously like a reworking of Soviet style residence permits that limited visits to other towns; a system under which couples could wait years to get a job in the same location as their fiancé. In the 2010s it was still common to be stopped on the street in Moscow and asked to provide your residence documents, being fined if you didn’t have them.
The original Bolshevik town planning was to have the factory within walking distance, and build the housing around it. Accommodation was often a kommunalka: apartments where you share the kitchen and bathroom. Some are still in use today in former Soviet Union (FSU) states like Georgia.
As for fresh air, the open air gym is ubiquitious. Practically every ploshad or square has the same exercise equipment across the FSU. Imagine the rows of girls in white leotards doing their stretches in 1930s Germany or Russia and you get the idea — every tyrant has claimed public health to be his top concern.
Centralization of currency will make control more over daily activity more intrusive. In reality, every country or region should have a currency whose exchange rate reflects the costs of doing business: labour and export competitiveness, above all. There has never been a convincing argument for a single currency in Europe or anywhere else. Even in the U.S. the dollar has a different buying power in different states.
Like the SU, this will damage the economy, penalize initiative, cripple innovation and limit diversification — but it will give central bankers their much desired granular control of resources.
Economies do not advance by convergence any more than science does by consensus. It is a cover for globalist, oiler-banker hegemony.
What, no moustache?
Stalin’s image wouldn’t work today: too macho. More than one generation has been schooled to be suspicious of anything that smells too strongly male. Anyhow, it seems that the dictator pose is no longer essential to tyranny.
The Führer was as much image as reality. Behind Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin and FDR, for that matter, was an expansion of the government bureaucracy to levels unprecedented.
The role of dictator was discipline. As a friend pointed out to me while writing this article, the image of a single authoritarian leader is no longer necessary when society has been re-formed as an apparatus of control.
You can go a long way down the road to tyranny without a the need for a Führer with a moustache.
What we have today is more like theatre, in which the actors are matched to the zeitgeist, which in turn is created by Hollywood and the media. In the 1930s that meant moustachioed movie stars in giant Packard cars. Today it is asexual men and women (and all things in between). They have been stripped of emotion in keeping with worship of technology, transhumanism and technocracy. More in a moment on these topics of masculinity, emotion and the new religion.
The British press is trawling through the WhatsApp messages of former health secretary Matt Hancock, which are proving as savoury as the contents of a dirty laundry basket.
The straw man argument is to attack something that never existed: that all men are rapists or that big boys don’t cry. Hollywood has created this on the big screen. Today’s action heroes rarely show emotion — think John Wayne, Bruce Willis or Tom Cruise (except for that break up in Cocktail) — and yet this was not the case through history.
Matt Hancock’s famous attempt to cry during a television interview was a toe-curling low point in his attempt to come across as a human being with feelings. Perhaps we should look for politicians who are capable of sharing emotions so that we can weed out the psychopaths. 
While psychopaths shed fake tears, Europeans are held hostage financially — their very security is threatened — by reckless narcissists like Ursula von der Leyen and Christine Lagarde, seemingly unsackable politicians despite their crimes and corruption. 
In the U.S. the impudent snarl of attorney general Merrick Garland — who would fit seamlessly into a 1930s scene of a Bolshevik prosecutor — dismisses Congressional questions as to why he persecutes Christians who pray outside abortion centres, while letting Antifa rioters who burn down buildings go free. Politicised justice is no justice. It’s just tyranny, as should be obvious to any one who thinks over the past three years.
We imagine that it is evil men who destroy society, “wild-eyed, spit-flecked dictators pounding the podium to demand the annihilation of their enemies,” as Tucker Carlson put it recently. Weak men are by far the greater danger: weakness of character, weakness of morality, with no principles except the desire for self preservation.
There is a role for stupidity, though. As the late economist Carlo Cipolla showed in his The Five Laws of Stupidity the weakest minds do the greatest harm to society. A bandit is one thing — he aims to profit from your loss — but a stupid person will cause loss or harm to himself while sowing chaos all around.
Nassim Taleb refers to the “intellectual yet idiot” but the stupid person may not be an idiot; he may be intelligent by the standards of official education, and he may display verbal dexterity. He merely needs to convince himself that he is benefiting personally while he brings society to its knees. We are watching this happen in real time. Policies that do not make sense by their own logic are pursued with obviously harmful effect.
If such character flaws can be identified, how is it that such people seem to advance? If the profession of psychologists spent a fraction of their time analysing would-be leaders, instead of helping the state psychologically manipulate the people — take a bow, Susan Michie — we might be in a better place.
One explanation is that flawed individuals — who live in terror of being revealed for who they really are — identify one another and advance as a group.
At the risk of causing offence one must persist with the examination of stupidity or the lack of the broad education compared with politicians in the past.
Cipolla’s laws of stupidity explain how they get away with it:
“Always and inevitably, everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation. The probability that a certain person (will) be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.”
Today’s politicians don’t trade in character but by appeal and adherence to “the science.” The leaders of the French revolution and the Bolshevik putsch did the same but they never did away with Christianity or capitalism. They co-opted them, and even learned to live with them.
In contrast the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben writes of today:
“What is new is that between science and the other two religions there has ignited, without our noticing it, a subterranean and implacable conflict, the successful results of which for science are daily before our eyes and determine in an unheard-of way all aspects of our existence. This conflict does not concern, as happened in the past, theory or general principles, but, so to speak, cultic practice. Indeed, science too, like every religion, knows diverse forms and levels through which it organizes and orders its structure: to the elaboration of a subtle and rigorous dogmatic there corresponds in practice an extremely broad and widespread cultic sphere which coincides with what we call technology.”
Cult members identify each other by group beliefs — and the Progressive platform today is a broad umbrella that covers unrelated and often contradictory ideas: what does climate change have to do with gender? (See UN Women Org). This is a platform which you must buy in bulk in order to qualify for membership — from the gender smorgasbord, and critical race theory and concepts of oppression and privilege, biology but not race as a social construct, diversity of appearance but not opinion, to global warming and zero carbon emission targets.
To be fair, readers may hold a position on some of these policies but all of them? Especially when the outcome seems to be counterproductive:
the destruction of energy networks without adequate replacement
the uprooting of farmers and slaughter of livestock to fight hunger
the calculation of surface warming by ignoring the Stefan Boltzmann law
withholding investment from companies using barely defined ESG scores
spending money on a scale that risks monetary collapse
shutting down the economy with no care for the consequences
locking children out of school with no care for the consequences
masking children with no care for the consequences
abolitionism — of drugs laws, the police, borders, etc.
equity, meaning equal outcomes for all, as opposed to equal opportunity
central planning and state control despite the disasters of the last century
The answer to any of these policies is one name: Stalin’s pet scientist, Trofim Lysenko. (See Bankers Prance To War And Slavery, Dec 4, 2021). They are the result of blind dogma, — or the policies are intended to achieve a different objective to that which is claimed.
Child of invention
Woke may be, as The Guardian newspaper insists, a “made-up menace.” Anyone who calls it out is simply a bigot opposed to civil rights and social justice. However it is the media, academia, government and corporations who lump these issues together as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics by which institutions will be judged for compliance in very real decisions affecting hiring, promotion, investment and the financial bottom line.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but invention has given birth to a bastard child.
If you have any difficulty with the language in which Woke policies are couched, New Discourses has an online glossary: Translations from the Wokish. 
This trick of lumping all issues together, so that you cannot question any plank of the platform and still be a good person, was prefigured by the media and behavioural psychology during the Trump presidency: the people were polarised. Now we are told that polarization in the media is a bad thing — we must all think as one.
It seems the very concept of dictator is just another way of polarising people and that polarity is then used to demand uniformity — a loyalty test. When social media can instantly polarise the population and direct thoughts, is there any need for a dictator?
Stalin’s words slide off the tongues of today’s politicians, officials and the secret policemen embedded in social media. The word “disinformation” derives from dezinformatsiya, a KGB counter-propaganda department which the defector Ion Mihai Pacepa said was named by Stalin.
Entire cohorts of population are branded deplorables, supremacists or the enemy within, echoing Stalin’s attacks on wreckers, or Mao who railed against the “running dogs of imperialism”. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) accusations of “counter-revolutionary sabotage" were hurled at “bourgeois nationalist deviationists.”
The adoption of this language by the Western military in particular is telling. It suggests we are in a moment of upheaval but that the sainted revolutionary truth — the ability to chart the path to the future — belongs exclusively to the government, as it did to Stalin. Anyone who draws unwelcome attention to the governments’ cultural revolution is a deviationist engaged in disinformation.
“If fighting disinformation mattered to US media elites, each story published on the threat of Russian bots would now be retracted, editors would be fired, and apologies would be issued. But they are in fact the world’s top disseminators of disinformation.” — Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone.
During the Covid response the left-right diversion was a crucial to the uniparty. The oligarchy (as Stanford University characterises the U.S.) terrorised the population, trampled civil liberties, rammed through new surveillance laws and redistributed wealth to themselves in an unprecedented heist.
The left-right diversion dates from the national assembly after the French revolution — another putsch falsely represented as a triumph of the common good, the people’s will, just as in Russia.
So much for the danger; what about the push back? If we face a machine of repression whose fingers reach further than any dictator, that is no reason for capitulation.
We began by contrasting the macho image of Stalin with today's metrosexual politicians — consider the voices of Tony Blair and former British conservative leader William Hague. It is as if they took unisex elocution lessons from Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson. With their high pitched smarmy sibilance, they popped up last month like two street urchins hawking their digital passports.
Since the present day tyrants have no use for masculinity, could a bit of manliness aid the resistance?
We may still embrace Alexandra Kollontai, the sexual revolutionary, who died on March 9th, just the year before Stalin.
Masculinity does not imply violence. In the 1970s at school we had aggressive boys, some were bullies. Most were middle of the road, and some were quiet, sensitive types. They were all masculine.
They had self possession; they were aware of their bodies, of developing their capabilities: that's how they compared themselves — not admiring themselves in a mirror or a selfie but how they measured up to others. Besides, the barbers back then were brutal!
Get the ideals right, not the haircut, and they may actually aspire to something; they may deführerfend their freedoms.
For some, those ideals were spelt out in schools where the Church was a presence; other children had to make their way, discover themselves but thankfully there were few labels — big pharma and the psychologists had not yet begun their debilitating psycho-drama.
The world as presented in the state-corporate media: a narcissistic, dysphoric whirl betwen privilege and self hate is intended to weaken individuals so that they are reliant on the people in charge of the state.
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?” — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Insight - Tasting Uncertainty And Learning To Love Doubt; Why managed outcomes in politics and companies are killing creativity (Aug 12, 2021)
Opinion - It Is The Hour Of The Time: Biden invokes the Lightbringer to conquer the soul. Solzhenitsyn warns us (Sep 4, 2022)
Bankers Prance To War And Slavery (Dec 4, 2021)
Crisis Update - U.S. Initiates State Control Of Food Supply: Coincides with 60th anniversary of Soviet massacre over meat shortages (May 20, 2022)
'Philanthropy' Is The Third Pillar Of Fascism: Governments seek unlawful objectives using charities and corporations as conduits (Mar 27, 2022)
Insight – Europe, Gas And The Endgame: Geopolitics is nothing if not about pipelines, bankers and parallels with 1917 (Sep 20, 2022)
 Oscar Sanchez-Sibony , 2014 — Depression Stalinism: The Great Break Reconsidered
 Thomas Hughes, American Heritage, 1988 — How America Helped Build The Soviet Machine
 Antony Sutton, 1974 — Wall Street And The Bolshevik Revolution (PDF)
 Evan Porter, Upworthy, Nov 2022 — Boys don't cry? Historians crushed that myth
 Politico, 2019 — The scandal hanging over Ursula von der Leyen
France 24, 2016 — IMF's Lagarde guilty of 'negligence' but avoids sentence over 2008 payout
 New Discourses — Translations from the Wokish
The Gold Blockade of Russia needs to be taken into account.
"Today a perceived crisis of overproduction once again sees policies that coincidentally — if not deliberately — cripple industry with high energy costs and deprive the people of cheap and plentiful food. Karl Marx himself said that the capitalist’s greatest fear and the cause of capitalist crises was overproduction."
Capitalism requires world war, or more precisely, a Reset. Cathal Haughian called it, now has deleted much of his blog, but made public the few posts left: https://beforethecollapse.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/capitalism-requires-world-war/
"[...] during the Trump presidency: the people were polarised. Now we are told that polarization in the media is a bad thing — we must all think as one."
The coronacircus guy predicted Trump was the antithesis to the thesis of wokism. I agree and consider the calls to national unity required in the face of the corona "crisis" to be the start of the synthesis.